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Buffalo expands search for deputy school superintendent

Buffalo School Superintendent Pamela Brown is expanding her search for a candidate to take the No. 2 job in the city school district.

Originally, a permanent deputy superintendent was to be named early this month as the first phase of a broader central office reorganization, but Brown said the selection process may now take a couple more weeks.

The district received more than 35 applications for the deputy superintendent position after posting it on district and nationwide job search listings, the superintendent said.

Phone interviews were conducted in April with a small group of finalists by interim Deputy Superintendent Mary Guinn in partnership with HealthNow.

The district had narrowed the candidates to two finalists for the deputy superintendent position, but Brown said recently that she decided on an expanded search for the position.

The district’s job description for the deputy superintendent requires that candidates have a master’s degree and certification in state school district administration or as a school district leader. They must also have at least eight years of supervisory experience, with experience in an urban school district preferred.

Though Brown had originally intended to have the reorganization done in two phases, she more recently said that the goal is now to have the entire reorganization, including the hiring of a new deputy superintendent, completed by June 30.

The stated purpose of the central office reorganization is to provide more support to schools while cutting costs at the same time.

The second phase of the reorganization would restructure the superintendent’s Cabinet and Office of School Leadership. Originally, the reorganization plan called for the hiring of three new administrators in addition to the new deputy superintendent.

Those other three positions – roughly identified as chief of communications, chief of accountability and technology, and chief of school leadership – were later eliminated from the 2013-14 budget to help close the budget gap.

It’s unclear how the budget changes may affect the Cabinet reorganization plans. Brown did not respond to repeated phone and email requests to comment last week.